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Why This Middle Schooler Won't Calculate Her Body Mass Index

An eighth-grader was asked to determine her BMI on an assignment, but she wrote an essay instead.

By Katherine Biek | April 5, 2016

An eighth-grader in Indiana was asked to calculate her body mass index for a homework assignment.

You can figure out BMI by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. The higher the final number supposedly means there's more body fat.

But the student refused to include her BMI on her assignment and instead wrote an essay explaining why.

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The essay read, in part, "Ever since I can remember I've been a 'bigger girl,' and I'm completely fine with that; I'm strong and powerful."

In the paper, which was photographed and posted on Facebook by a family friend, she goes on to explain she felt very self-conscious about her body when the school year started and would even "wear four bras" and "wrap ace bandages around [her] stomach" to look skinnier.

So her mom took her to a doctor, who ran a few tests and said the girl was on track with her weight.

The girl says she's physically strong, and — as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out — an athlete's BMI will often be higher because of her muscle and bone density.

She concluded her assignment by saying: "I am just beginning to love my body. ... My BMI is none of your concern because my body and BMI are perfect and beautiful just the way they are."

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